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I have a recipe that asks for 2 sprigs of thyme. How much dry thyme do i use as a substitution for the fresh? Or what does 2 fresh sprigs of thyme measure, a tablespoon?

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Two sprigs of thyme will yield perhaps a tablespoon of leaves when stripped from the stem, depending on the size of the sprigs.

Using the typical ratio of 1/3 unit dried to substitute for 1 unit of fresh herbs, you would then want about a teaspoon for dried thyme.

Thyme--or herbs and sprices in general--usually does not contribute to the chemistry of a recipe, just to its flavor profile, so you can adjust the amount as you desire to match your personal preference.

You also want to consider how the thyme is used in the recipe. If it is in a bouquet garni, it would eventually be removed from the sauce or stock or other food product. If the appearance is critical, you might not want the flecks of thyme in the dish, so you might want to use a spice ball (I would just accept the flecks, as I personally don't even own a spice ball).

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  • Guess I am dense. Cannot follow "Using the typical ratio of 1/3 unit dried to substitute for 1 unit of fresh herbs, you would then want about a teaspoon for dried thyme". Seems to contradict "Two sprigs of thyme will yield perhaps a tablespoon of leaves when stripped from the stem, depending on the size of the sprigs" – Katherine Miller Jan 18 '17 at 2:51
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    @KatherineMiller There's no contradiction. The first part is, two sprigs of thyme (like the OP needed) is about 1 tablespoon. The second part is, dried is roughly 1/3 the volume of fresh, so you need 1/3 of 1 tablespoon, or one teaspoon. – Cascabel Jan 18 '17 at 3:06
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I read on another site that 6 sprigs = 1 Tablesoon of fresh = 3/4 tsp dried because "thyme retains much of its flavor and aroma when dried."

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